The Punch Almanack for 1899 offered a joke that has proven to have staying power. It goes like this:
Genius: Isn’t there a clerk who can examine patents?
Boy: Quite unnecessary, Sir. Everything that can be invented has been invented. One hundred and nineteen years later, Popular Science Magazine showcased 2018’s best inventions. Last year’s award-winners included:
Sidewalks that help stop floods: Changing weather patterns are affecting many regions across the United States. Sea levels are expected to rise and flooding may become more frequent. One way to address the issue is with porous sidewalk tiles designed to divert rain from overflowing drains into underground storage that can be used to water plants and trees. Excess drainage flows into sewer systems.
Medicine that prevents migraines. If you are one of the millions of Americans who get migraines, you know how debilitating they can be. One of 2018’s top inventions is a migraine preventative. It’s administered through monthly injections and “blocks a neurotransmitter…which stimulates brain cells active in migraines.” Tests suggest it reduces the number of headaches people experience every month by half.
Headsets that terrify and delight. To enjoy an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience, people have had to invest in high-end gaming computers that have a big price tag. Last year, a standalone VR headset became available that can make users believe a zombie really is right behind them (and who doesn’t want that?). It also has applications in entertainment, social interactions, and other areas outside of gaming.]]>